4th Platform logo white

How Manufacturers Drive Operational Excellence and Agility with Cloud Communications

Image of Manufacturing

Building a Strong Digital Communications Platform and Digital Transformation Strategy in Manufacturing.

You can read the full 8×8 story here

The landscape for manufacturers is evolving rapidly; supply chain disruptions and staff shortages make it increasingly challenging to deliver on both operational excellence and customer expectations. However, building a robust digital communications platform and a long-term digital transformation strategy can lay the foundation for future success.

A future where increased IoT and AI initiatives will enable more business process automation, improving operational efficiencies, driving better decision-making, and creating new business models. It is expected that half of manufacturing organisations will deploy AI and machine learning (ML) technology to assist field sales teams with next-best-action recommendations and guided analytics processes to deliver valuable insights.

Bridging the Communications Gap in Manufacturing

The disconnect between technologies used on the top floor and shop floor is a significant barrier to achieving customer success in the modern world. It is reported that a third of manufacturers will require a Centre of Excellence to apply the digital technology needed to streamline demand and supply chains and execute innovation into product and operational processes.

As organisations look to manage the challenges presented to them, the University of Cambridge reported that the growth of R&D expenditure in UK manufacturing has been slower than in other nations, impacting the sector’s contribution to employment and exportation.

In manufacturing, communication that is clear, timely, and meaningful—especially between top floor and hourly workers—can impact:

  • Productivity
  • Safety
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict resolution
  • Collaboration
  • Engagement

However, hourly workers, who make up 78% of the manufacturing workforce, often do not have a company email address or easy access to a computer at work, making it more difficult to engage in timely, ongoing communication and foster a sense of community.

Staff shortages as older workers retire and younger generations are enticed into more dynamic digital environments also provide a continual challenge. Creating an inclusive environment for shop floor and top floor workers with a digital-first approach will go a long way towards easing this challenge.

With more than 90% of the public now owning a smart device, organisations that do not invest in technology to harness the power of these mobile solutions will lose out on a means of connecting with their employees in an easy, meaningful, work-from-anywhere way, helping everyone feel empowered and connected.

Delivering a Seamless Customer Experience in Manufacturing

According to Ventana Research, by 2025, one-third of manufacturers will have adopted cloud-based integrated suites for service, sales, and marketing, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and making it easier to deliver more satisfying customer experiences.

Replacement of legacy on-premise systems with cloud-based technology improves intelligence throughout the entire organisation and delivers sustainability advantages. This contributes to environmental objectives with savings on CO2 emissions through a reduction in energy usage, hardware needs (build, repair, and parts delivery), and travel through remote working.

Imagine streamlining demand and supply interactions across the entire organisation, connecting employees with suppliers, customers, and distribution units to track interactions from order quoting to delivery for a seamless customer experience.

A cloud-based solution from 8×8 connects top floor and shop floor employees on a single platform with tailored user experiences, effortlessly connecting conference rooms, alarm systems, DECT, and Microsoft Teams users to improve overall productivity. This enables business leaders to get messages in front of employees, customers, and suppliers quickly.

Advanced Planning and Scheduling in Manufacturing

Repetitive tasks can be automated using advanced analytics and AI-powered insights. Team leaders can create and manage workflows in minutes to accommodate unexpected changes, supply chain disruptions, and staff shortages.

Company-wide cross-platform reporting provides both a holistic and granular view of customer and internal communications that can be used to monitor and improve operational efficiency. Shop floor workers can connect with experts across the globe to quickly troubleshoot and solve problems, reducing downtime and increasing productivity.

Customers want a consistent experience from all touchpoints of an organisation across sales, logistics, payments, and more. To deliver this, staff need to be trained and receive continual coaching:

Call recording and playback has often been used to provide training and conversation clarity.

Speech analytics with sentiment analysis boosts knowledge and efficiency by quickly identifying changes in employee/customer behaviours, delivering timely relevant feedback that can be followed to provide the best customer outcome and improve customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores.

Automated customer surveys after call completion show your customers you care and provide all-important feedback on products and services.

In conclusion, by embracing a digital-first approach and leveraging cloud communications, manufacturers can drive operational excellence and agility, ensuring they remain competitive and responsive in a rapidly changing landscape. 4th Platform offers solutions that help manufacturers bridge the communication gap, streamline operations, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Scroll to Top